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What's a Sysgen PSA 1030X 8 bit ISA Card for?

leaknoil

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Looks like a standard early 8 bit floppy controller but, has a header labeled "From Floppy Controller" along with one labeled "From Internal Floppy Drives". That would make it appear to sit between the floppy controller and the drives. It doesn't have the circuitry to be a full controller anyway. Just 11 74 series ics onboard. It only has the two 34 pin headers and what looks to be the standard D type external floppy connector.

Perhaps a tape controller or some other external device ? Anyone know ?

Google seems to have nothing but, those generic we sell everything that's ever had a part number sites.
 
Looks like a standard early 8 bit floppy controller but, has a header labeled "From Floppy Controller" along with one labeled "From Internal Floppy Drives". That would make it appear to sit between the floppy controller and the drives. It doesn't have the circuitry to be a full controller anyway. Just 11 74 series ics onboard. It only has the two 34 pin headers and what looks to be the standard D type external floppy connector.

Perhaps a tape controller or some other external device ? Anyone know ?

Google seems to have nothing but, those generic we sell everything that's ever had a part number sites.

Yup, it's a card that "switches" the two internal drives to the external connector to give you 4 drives. It should come with software. The 5150's floppy controller could support 4 drives, but later controllers left off the support for additional drive select and motor control, as well as the external DC37 drive connector.

That's if I'm remembering the vendor correctly. Since Sysgen was also big in early streamer tapes, it could also be a hookup to a floppytape drive in an external box, say, a Cipher 525. Got some date codes from the ICs?
 
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can't find date codes on my readily, but one floppy connecter has JAC under it and the other one has JAD under it. It has the 37pin external connector, and unsoldered 34 pin just next to the external connecter. there are 4 jumpers below the JAC +5v gnd gnd +12v so i think it's a bypass connector that is capable of providing power to the external bus, but i'm not entirely sure. If it's an extension of the controller in the pc so that it CAN have 4 floppies, it will do well with some of my XT controllers
 
Yup, it's a card that "switches" the two internal drives to the external connector to give you 4 drives. It should come with software. The 5150's floppy controller could support 4 drives, but later controllers left off the support for additional drive select and motor control, as well as the external DC37 drive connector.

That's if I'm remembering the vendor correctly. Since Sysgen was also big in early streamer tapes, it could also be a hookup to a floppytape drive in an external box, say, a Cipher 525. Got some date codes from the ICs?

You're remembering it fine. SYSGEN made the 1030 for the Model 30, and the PSA 1050 for the Model 50/50Z. It ties into the floppy connection, and runs an external "Bridge-File" floppy drive and/or tape drive.

If anyone doesn't want their 1030, I'll take it for documentation...

I'm still looking for the software in a newer version, version 3.44...
 
Bridge file owners manual

Bridge file owners manual

You're remembering it fine. SYSGEN made the 1030 for the Model 30, and the PSA 1050 for the Model 50/50Z. It ties into the floppy connection, and runs an external "Bridge-File" floppy drive and/or tape drive.

If anyone doesn't want their 1030, I'll take it for documentation...

I'm still looking for the software in a newer version, version 3.44...

The SYSGEN Bridge File is indeed an add-in diskette drive for most IBM PC's and others like Toshiba laptops, even Sun 386i workstations with the correct adapter. These only existed for a short time after the Al Shugart team improved the format for floppies from DD to HD and any machine fitted out would have full 5.25/1.2MB and 3.5/1.44MB capability, so it was also an upgrade of sorts for earlier machines like the AT which normally cannot handle high densities, equally it sidestepped the unintended incompatibilities between the low density diskette format and high density drives. These were serious issues when floppies were the only real choice. We have left all of that behind of course....(source DEC1989 issue of Sysgen manual)
 
The SYSGEN Bridge File is indeed an add-in diskette drive for most IBM PC's and others like Toshiba laptops, even Sun 386i workstations with the correct adapter. These only existed for a short time after the Al Shugart team improved the format for floppies from DD to HD and any machine fitted out would have full 5.25/1.2MB and 3.5/1.44MB capability, so it was also an upgrade of sorts for earlier machines like the AT which normally cannot handle high densities, equally it sidestepped the unintended incompatibilities between the low density diskette format and high density drives. These were serious issues when floppies were the only real choice. We have left all of that behind of course....(source DEC1989 issue of Sysgen manual)

Sorry to resurrect this old thread but how did it sidestep the "unintended incompatibilities between the low density diskette format and high density drives?"
 
so it was also an upgrade of sorts for earlier machines like the AT which normally cannot handle high densities

That puzzled me too--the AT was certainly capable of 1.2 and 1.44 MB drive operation.

Sysgen also marketed the "Omnibridge" floppy controller for XT-class machines, but it was a more-or-less standard WD37C65-based controller with its own BIOS ROM, much like many other "upgrade" controllers of the time. Usual 4-drive support. I still have mine.
 
Sorry to resurrect this old thread but how did it sidestep the "unintended incompatibilities between the low density diskette format and high density drives?"

I think that is just marketing's way of informing people that they can have both the HD and DD 5.25" drives already installed in an AT but also add a 3.5" drive and the option for crazy daisy chaining for up to 16 drives should the computer be equipped with more unconventional internal drives.

edit: Some AT clones didn't have BIOS support for 1.44 MB floppy drives. Compaq's 386/20e did not have support until November 1988 revision. Sysgen card meant that no BIOS upgrade was needed.
 
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edit: Some AT clones didn't have BIOS support for 1.44 MB floppy drives. Compaq's 386/20e did not have support until November 1988 revision. Sysgen card meant that no BIOS upgrade was needed.

A simple driver was all that was required for that. The data rate's the same, as is the number of cylinders. The difference from a software point of view is that the 1.44M drive spins more slowly. In fact, you can format a 1.44M HD floppy as 1.2MB and do just fine on an unmodified early 5170.
 
A simple driver was all that was required for that. The data rate's the same, as is the number of cylinders. The difference from a software point of view is that the 1.44M drive spins more slowly. In fact, you can format a 1.44M HD floppy as 1.2MB and do just fine on an unmodified early 5170.

I remember how it was supposed to work and I certainly had no problems adding a 3.5" HD drive to my 286 in 1989. However, when I went double checking some things, I found a 1989 PC Magazine article that covered 1.44 MB drives and their notes show some drives don't work with some systems even with manufacturer supplied drivers.
 
It depends on how the drives are configured. If you look at early 1.44M drives there were several variations on the use of pin 2 and 34, in addition to how the media-sense aperture was treated. Early IBM-branded drives, for example, ignored the media-sense hole and were perfectly happy formatting 720K as 1.44M and vice-versa, creating a nightmare for those who had drives that paid attention to the hole.

Instead, the IBM drives paid attention to pin 2 for host-media determination. But the convention was generally opposite of the 1.2M convention. Similarly, pin 34 could be READY, DISK CHANGED, or MEDIA TYPE.

I used Sony drives initially and then switched to Teac and never had a problem--just used the media-sense hole, pretty much the same as "modern" (i.e. later) drives did, with pin 2 NC. I think I still have a couple of 3.5-to-5.25 adapters where pin 34 is jumperable for DC or READY. Early Teac FD235HF drives were replete with jumper blocks that could make the drive act any way you wanted.
 
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